New Braunfels City Council adopts guidelines for redistricting council member districts for the next decade

The city council heard from the law firm it tasked to draw new city council district maps. (Community Impact Staff)
The city council heard from the law firm it tasked to draw new city council district maps. (Community Impact Staff)

The city council heard from the law firm it tasked to draw new city council district maps. (Community Impact Staff)

The New Braunfels City Council voted unanimously Nov. 8 to adopt guidelines that provide parameters for redrawing the city’s six single-member council districts.

Rezzin Pullum, an attorney with the Bojorquez Law Firm of Austin, presented the findings the firm provided to give City Council guidance on the issue.

From 2010 to 2020, New Braunfels grew by 56.5%, from 57,740 residents to 90,370, according to U.S. Census data. If divided evenly, the ideal district size would be 15,062 residents per district, Pullum said. Population growth does not happen evenly, so since the electoral maps were drawn in 2010, the districts now have large differences in population growth between them.

“Just immediately you can kind of see District 2 is going to be your largest district with close to 6,000 people over what is that ideal target population. And then you're going to see District 6 is heavily underpopulated. It's about 5,200 people under what the ideal district would require,” Pullum said.

The 2010 map shows disparities with current populations in place. The District 1 area is closest to the goal of 15,062 residents, with 15,020. District 2 has 21,034 residents; District 3 has 13,339 residents; District 4 has 16,995 residents; District 5 has 14,161 residents, and District 6 has 9,821 residents.


Because of their close proximity, Pullum said the maps the firm will provide will likely draw heavily from District 2 into District 6.

But that’s not the only consideration at play. Racial demographics in each single-member district changed over the last decade as well, meaning voting power of minority populations needs to be considered legally to ensure equal representation, Pullum said.

“One of the things that we'll be observing in this process is how much the voting power is changing in between each of those races. So for instance, if we're looking at the Black population in District 1, currently it is 3.89%. One thing that we'll try to achieve is to make sure that those districts in which the minority populations are, [are] not retrogressing substantially. Now, that doesn't require for us to not have any reduction in the population at all. What you might see is something very minute to the tune of 0.02%,” Pullum said.

To meet federal preclearance guidelines, the maps cannot have population discrepancies greater than within 10% of each population total, he said.

Pullum said the firm should be able to provide redrawn maps by a tentative public hearing date of Dec. 20.

The council is slated to vote on final approval of the maps Jan. 10, nine days before the filing deadline for City Council candidates for the May 2022 elections, City Attorney Valeria Acevedo said.
By Eric Weilbacher

Editor, New Braunfels and San Marcos/Buda/Kyle

Eric joinedCommunity Impact Newspaper as an editor in July 2021, returning to journalism after several years in the New Braunfels business community. Prior to CI, Eric freelanced for multiple publications and was a reporter for the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. He brings a passion for accurate, compelling story telling and human interest to his work.



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